There’s more to branding than choosing a logo and a color palette. Proper branding distinguishes you from your competitors and provides a reason for your customers to buy from you. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when people think of you. It tells the world about you and why you’re in business. It can make people feel connected to your business and push you ahead of competitors so your message doesn’t get lost in the noise.
Taking a moment to think strategically about why, what, who, where, and how you want to present yourself or your product to the world is imperative to building a successful business. “Products are manufactured in the factory, but brands are developed in the mind,” Walter Landor once said.
Let’s talk about getting your brand ready to connect with your customers online. To get your business noticed, you need to know what makes your business unique and what differentiates you from your competition. Below are five questions you should address to get started in building a strong brand.
1. Who is your ideal client?
This is your starting point. Every decision you make about your brand from now on should consider your ideal client’s needs, personality, pain points, language, likes and dislikes. Your ideal client should shape every aspect of your brand identity. Whether you like it or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s what they think that does.
Take the time to find out exactly what your ideal client is looking for. Is it more important to them to save money or to get the best results? Are they looking for a long-term relationship or a quick service? Are they tech-savvy, or do they fear technology? Once your ideal client is clearly defined, building your branding will no longer be a guessing game. You will be able to make solid connections and build loyalty.
2. What pain points/problems do you solve?
Your clients aren’t looking for you because everything in their lives is perfect. You probably sell a product or offer a service that can solve a problem or enhance their lives. Perhaps you provide personal financial solutions, and they’re fed up with their bank account being overdrawn. Maybe you provide an escape from everyday life by giving them a daily dose of entertainment. But, because of an existing need, your clients require your services. Be upfront and let them know how you and your business will change their lives. Give examples so that they can relate to what you are saying.
Your brand identity should explain how you handle these issues or provide value right away. Your capacity to solve problems should be at the heart of your brand identity, regardless of how you communicate with your clients.
3. What differentiates you from others?
What does your brand bring to the table that your competitors don’t? Maybe even more importantly, how can you communicate this in your brand identity?
A unique value proposition (UVP), sometimes known as a unique selling proposition (USP), is a concise, to-the-point statement regarding the benefits you provide to clients. To put it another way, it’s an explanation of what makes you unique. It’s crucial to remember that being different isn’t enough; you have to stand out. This entails aggressively carving yourself a niche and playing to your abilities regularly. So, what makes your brand unique?
4. What kind of personality do you have?
A “human set of characteristics” linked to a brand is characterized as brand personality. Clients can relate to brands with a robust and well-defined personality because they can relate to them on a human level.
People’s personalities are rarely one-dimensional. Brand personalities shouldn’t be either. When you’re first defining your personality, thinking in terms of archetypes can be beneficial. Is your brand a hero or an explorer? Is it a caregiver or a ruler? Identifying your brand’s core personality type will go a long way when you start putting words together to describe yourself and will help you find your tone of voice. What five words would you use to describe your brand?
5. How do you want your clients to feel?
What do your most satisfied new clients have to say when they contact your sales or customer service team? Listening to new, satisfied clients’ interactions can give a plethora of information about how you make them feel. Do they express relief or newfound energy? Are they happy or inspired?
The most common pleasant emotion associated with your firm is crucial information for developing a brand identity. Take a minute to analyze whether that feeling is represented on your website and in your messaging. Then, use this feeling to help you choose the best colors and fonts for your visual identity.
After thoughtfully pondering the questions above, do you feel confident that you are presenting yourself to the world in the right way or do you have to go back to the drawing board and refine your branding? Let us know in the comments below, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, how would you rate your current branding strategy? We want to know!
Finally, Silver Lining is offering a free 1-hour consultation to discuss your current business realities and get access to the support you need to grow your small business and hit your set financial goal.
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